Located in the city of Lake Elmo, Lake Elmo is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and outdoor recreation. However, the water quality of Lake Elmo has become a concern due to the presence of contaminants such as PFAS. Because of this, residents and visitors who use the Lake water at home and for various recreational purposes are questioning if using water from Lake Elmo is a smart choice. In this blog post, we will discuss the state of water quality of Lake Elmo, including the contaminants present in the water and how safe eating fish from Lake Elmo is.
Can You Eat Fish From Lake Elmo?
You can eat fish from Lake Elmo, but you shouldn’t.
Why? There are high levels of PFAS in the Lake.
What is PFAS, you ask?
PFAS (per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a collection of chemicals used in a wide range of industrial and consumer products, such as firefighting foam, non-stick cookware, and stain-resistant fabrics.
PFAS are not only persistent in the environment but can also accumulate in the bodies of fish, animals, and humans. And this is exactly what has happened to fish in Lake Elmo.
The Minnesota Department of Health has found high levels of PFAS found in fish tissue samples. Due to this, they have issued a fish consumption advisory recommending not eating any fish caught in Lake Elmo and limiting the consumption of fish from other nearby lakes.
PFAS can have harmful effects on human health. They can increase the risk of cancer, liver damage, increased risk of asthma, and decreased fertility. It is important to avoid exposure to PFAS through contaminated food and water sources.
Is Lake Elmo Polluted?
As much as Lake Elmo has been identified as having higher than recommended levels of certain contaminants, the Lake still hasn’t been considered polluted in the traditional sense.
See, to determine whether or not a lake is polluted; we must first define what pollution means. Pollution is the presence of contaminants that cause harm or discomfort to live organisms, including humans. In the case of Lake Elmo, there are indeed some contaminants present in the water that has caused concern.
But despite these concerns, Lake Elmo is not entirely polluted. The Minnesota Department of Health has stated that it is safe to swim, picnic, birdwatch, boat, and paddleboard in the Lake as long as the appropriate precautions are taken.
The presence of contaminants does not necessarily mean that the Lake is polluted beyond the point of being usable for recreational activities.
Where Does Lake Elmo Water Come From?
Lake Elmo gets its water from two wells. These wells are supplied by Prairie Du Chien-Jordan and Jordan aquifers. The wells are 285 to 290 feet deep.
What Contaminants Are in Lake Elmo?
In addition to PFAS, Lake Elmo contains other contaminants that are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an organization that analyzes water quality data from utilities across the country, Lake Elmo’s water contains the following contaminants:
- Dibromoacetic acid
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Haloacetic acids (HAA9)
- Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
- Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA)
These contaminants can enter the water through various sources, including industrial and agricultural runoff, leaking septic systems, and stormwater runoff.
How to Get Rid of PFAS in Drinking Water
There are several steps you can take to reduce your exposure to PFAS. One effective option is to install a home water filtration system with activated carbon filters. Activated carbon is a highly porous material and can absorb and remove contaminants from water, including PFAS. When water passes through the activated carbon filter, the PFAS molecules are trapped within the carbon’s pores, effectively removing them from the water.
You can also opt to use reverse osmosis (RO) systems. RO systems use a semi-permeable membrane that can effectively filter out even the smallest particles, including PFAS. As water passes through the membrane, contaminants are filtered out, leaving clean, safe drinking water.
There are also newer water treatment technologies, such as ion exchange which have shown promise in removing PFAS from drinking water. The ions exchanged in the removal of PFAS are uniquely designed to attract positively charged ions found in PFAS. Something to love about this method is it’s simple, cost-effective, and can be used to treat large volumes of water.
As you plan to remove PFAS from drinking water, note that you’ll require specialized equipment. Also, understand not all water treatment systems are created equal. If you’re concerned about PFAS in your drinking water, it’s best to consult with a PFAS water treatment professional who can help you select the best system for your needs.
Let Experts Clean Your Drinking Water
Lake Elmo’s water quality has raised eyebrows due to the presence of PFAS and other contaminants. And while the Lake is not considered polluted in the traditional sense, it is important to reduce your exposure to these contaminants to avoid impacting your health. Installing a home water filtration system is one effective way to ensure that your drinking water is safe and clean.
Consulting with a professional is the best decision as they’ll help you choose the right method for your needs. At Aquarius Water Conditioning, we will provide you with top-notch water treatment solutions that will remove all contaminants like PFAS and other harmful chemicals from your drinking water. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take action now, and let us help you clean your drinking water. Call us at 844-565-9194 today to learn more about our water treatment services and products. Your health and well-being are too important to risk it!